Explain how Plato defined knowledge (12 marks)Watch
I have the written the following response to the question (in the title):
'Plato believed that there are 3 necessary components of knowledge: belief, truth, and justification.
According to Plato, knowledge requires belief because it seems erroneous for one to say, for example, “I know that there are five letters in the name Plato, but I don't believe it.” The reason this sentence seems erroneous is that as humans we understand that if something is true it remains true no matter what our opinion is. If something, to us, seems clearly true, we must have a belief that it is true. Homo Sapiens would not have survived as a species without having the predisposition to believe, that which in our minds seems true. Our being able to function even on the most basic day-to-day level depends on us believing in what we find true. It is because of the ingrained sense of logic that we have that we find the aforementioned sentence so contradictory.
Without truth one cannot have knowledge. Take the sentence “I know that Nairobi is the capital city of Bolivia because I have a map which confirms this” this person does not have knowledge rather what they have is a justified false belief. Saying that you know Nairobi is the capital of Bolivia is equivalent to saying I am confused about a reality of life and it is pretty much universally accepted in philosophy that knowledge requires an understanding of an evidenced reality of life. This was how Plato saw it.
Plato claimed that justification is necessary for knowledge because it is what takes something from being a lucky guess to knowledge. People can claim many things, without providing any justification, that turn out to be true but this doesn’t mean that they know things. For example, I can claim right now, that you (the person reading this) are wearing a blue top. Now could it be that you are wearing a blue top right now? If you are, this means that I have a true belief but I haven’t produced any justification and so it could be that I was just lucky. For me to be able to claim that I knew you had to be wearing a blue top today I would have to give some indication of how my statement wasn't just a lucky guess which would come in the form of a justification e.g. I had seen you many times wearing blue tops or that you told me that you hate all colours except blue.
Justification, truth, and belief, for Plato, are not just necessary but also sufficient for knowledge. He believed that one who has a justified true belief couldn’t be told that they do not have knowledge for example, could one tell a woman who says “I believe that my son is genetically related to me because I remember giving birth to him and I can confirm that my belief is true from this DNA test that I have” that she does not have knowledge of her son being genetically related to her? Plato would say absolutely not.
And so, in this way Plato seeks to prove that the tripartite model of knowledge as justified true belief is correct.'
I would really appreciate if you could give feedback, do you think it would reach 12 marks. Have I written too much or too little?